“My first goal is to enter the rankings and then I will fight for championship,” said Jung Da-un, a fighter of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) or the world’s top-level platform for mixed martial arts, in the runup to a match against Dustin Jacoby, an American mixed martial artist and kickboxer. Jung is scheduled to fight against Jacoby ranking 15th in his weight class in the UFC on ABC3 event on Sunday in Elmont, New York.
Since his debut as a UFC fighter in August 2019, Jung, currently with four wins and one tie, has not been given any ranking yet. Only 16 fighters in each UFC weight class can be part of the rankings from the champion through to the 15th top player. If Jung beats up Jacoby in the forthcoming match, he will claim to be in 15th place. First joining the UFC in October 2020, later than Jung, Jacoby has five wins and one tie.
In case of his winning of the game, Jung will become the first Asian fighter to join the light heavyweight rankings. The light heavyweight class (93kg or less) is the second heaviest class following the heavy class (120.2kg or less). The two classes are dominated mainly by South American, African and U.S. players. Jung Chan-sung, a.k.a. the Korean Zombie, ranked 4th in the featherweight class in 2021, the highest ranking ever reached by any South Korean fighter. Kim Dong-hyun ranked 6th in welterweight in 2017 while Choi Doo-ho ranked 11th in featherweight in 2016.
“I used only boxing skills when I was a UFC newbie,” Jung said in a video call with The Dong-A Ilbo on Wednesday. “Since then, I have learned Muay Thai skills including elbow or knee strikes.” Jung, who is having training sessions in the United States, seemed sure of his winning, saying confidently that he could even make full use of wrestling and Jujutsu technics.
A growing number of fans of mixed martial arts show an interest in the rise of Jung Da-un as he is one of the rarest Asian players who stand out in the heavyweight class. “I have got used to being at the center of attention with little burden on my shoulders,” he said. “I will only keep focused on winning games.”
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